It's been a very long two weeks for our Jen. On Thursday, November 16th she had brain surgery to biopsy and see if her cancer had spread to the meninges layer of her brain (and cerebrospinal fluid). The neurosurgeon was also placing a shunt which would drain excess fluid (CSF) from her brain. The excess fluid & pressure was irritating her brain tissue and causing horrible nausea and headaches.
The surgery caused several hemorrhages/brain bleeds and she woke up with a numb face and left hand. She lost her speech and ability to eat. The surgery also confirmed that the cancer has spread to her meninges/cerebrospinal fluid (the initial biopsy they had thought it hadn't).
She's slowly regained her speech and feeling in her face. But her balance and strength isn't good enough to walk on her own. It's difficult for her to coordinate texting, so if she doesn't get back to you, that's why. She's spent 13 of the past 15 days in the hospital, but is finally ready to discharge.
The prognosis of leptomeningeal melanoma is not good, but Jen is always staying positive.
Our current treatment plan is for her start a chemotherapy called Temodar (Temozolomide), which is a pill she'd take at home. Temodar is chemo that has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (the barrier separating the blood stream from the cerebrospinal fluid).
There is one clinical trial we know of that would accept patients who have leptomeningeal melanoma. This trial is at M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas. Currently she would not qualify because she is on too high of a steroid dose to control her brain swelling and symptoms. She also cannot be on another chemotherapy or treatment in order to participate in this trial. Her hope would be to participate in that trial if she is able to taper off the steroids quite a bit more.
Keep Jen in your thoughts and prayers, she is a warrior!
|Very generous chest full of gifts from all my coworkers at Gentle Dental, thank you!|